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News New England and Beyond

Historic Newburyport

An exhibition of historic photographs of Newburyport, from SPNEA’s Library and Archives, is currently on view at the new Margaret Gayden Wilkins Visitor Education Center at Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm, Newbury, Massachusetts. The display is open free, Wednesdays through Sundays, from 11 am to 5 pm, until October 14.

A New Look at Quincy House

Following extensive paint analysis, SPNEA has recently repainted the 1770 Josiah Quincy House, a National Historic Landmark in Quincy, Massachusetts. The new color scheme more accurately reflects how the house looked in the 1880s, when historian Eliza Susan Quincy began to document the house and her family history, an undertaking that ultimately led to the preservation of the house by SPNEA.

SPNEA Book Prize

The SPNEA Book Prize for a book published in 2000 has been awarded to Hands on the Land: A History of the Vermont Landscape, by Jan Albers, co-published by the MIT Press and the Orton Family Foundation. “Substantial, beautifully illustrated, and highly readable, this book traces the people, culture, and land of Vermont and previews the kinds of choices planners and citizens will face in the future,” wrote one reviewer. Please watch your mail for an announcement of a free public event to celebrate the prize later this fall.

A Scholar’s Library
SPNEA recently received an extraordinary gift: the professional library of the late Rodris Roth, Curator of American domestic furnishings and cultural history at the Smithsonian Institution. Highly respected for the quality and thoroughness of her research and for her interpretation of the resulting information, Roth published monographs and articles on a range of topics relating to domestic objects, including Tea Drinking in 18th-Century America: Its Etiquette and Equipage and Floor Coverings in 18th-Century America. The library, given by her sisters Quilla and Jenner Roth, includes more than 1,500 books. Quilla Roth explained the decision to donate the books to SPNEA: “Both my sister Jenner and I are glad that the books are going to an organization that will use them in ways that Rodris herself would use them. We’re also pleased that it’s an organization that Rodris knew and admired, and at which there are staff members who knew Rodris.” The process of cataloguing the collection is being supported by long-time SPNEA member Nancy Smith.

SPNEA at the National Trust Conference
Two SPNEA programs will be highlighted at this year’s National Trust for Historic Preservation’s conference, in Providence, Rhode Island, October 16 to 21. A panel discussion, “Preservation Easements: Twenty Years of Protecting Privately Owned Historic Properties in New England,” will examine SPNEA’s Stewardship Program, which uses easements to protect significant interior and exterior features of historic properties. A field session, “Working Farms: Preserving Open Spaces,” will feature tours of SPNEA’s two Rhode Island farms, Watson and Casey, as models that preserve the agrarian landscape. For more information, please contact the National Trust for Historic Preservation at (800) 944-6847 or

A Restored Porte Cochere
Jerry Eide of Hill-town Restorations has recently restored the porte cochere or the carriage porch at the Bowen House in Woodstock, Connec-ticut, using the traditional materials of lime putty and horsehair. Paint analysis is now underway to determine the original finishes in the space so that they may be replicated, making the entrance to the house much more welcoming to visitors.

Changing the Guard
At the Annual Meeting in June, Bob Owens retired as Chair of the Board, following three years of exemplary leadership, and moved to a new role as Chair of the Museum Planning Com-mittee. We are pleased to announce that Nina Longtine, of Brookline, Massachusetts, a pathologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, has assumed the position of Chair of the Board, while Ted Alfond, of Weston, Massachusetts, former Executive Vice President of the Dexter Shoe Company, will serve as Vice Chair.

Document a Room for Posterity
SPNEA’s next amateur photo contest, "Detailing the Domestic Interior," looks inside New England homes for views of family life, holidays and parties, still lifes, kitchens, work spaces—any interior views that document how we live today. Please submit up to three 5" x 7" photographs, with negatives, by October 31. Winners in both Adult and Youth categories will be announced in the summer 2002 issue of this magazine. Please call (617) 570-9105, ext. 270, or visit our website,, for details.

News New England and Beyond